THE BASICS: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, the novella by Truman Capote acclimatized for the date by Richard Greenberg, is presented by American Repertory Amphitheater of WNY, directed by Matthew LaChiusa, starring Candice Kogut as “Holly Golightly” and Ryan Kaminski as “Fred” forth with Heather Casseri, Derrik Reynolds, Dewel Perez, Robert Insana, Elizabeth Oddy, and Chris Wagner arena assorted acknowledging roles. It will run through February 16, Thursday through Saturday at 8, additional Sunday, February 10, at 2 at ART/WNY, 545 Elmwood Avenue (the “Theatreloft”) abreast Utica Street (983-4345). www.artofwny.org Runtime: 2-1/2 hours with one intermission
THUMBNAIL SKETCH: Director Matthew LaChiusa reminds us that Richard Greenberg’s adjustment is based on Capote’s novella and not aloft the 1961 rom-com starring Audrey Hepburn (although we do get a arrangement of “Moon River” articulate on a blaze escape). It is the adventure of two young, Southern-born people, anniversary aggravating to actualize a new activity for themselves in NYC. As the alienated biographer dubbed “Fred” by his Upper East Side acquaintance “Holly Golightly” is fatigued into (quoting now from ART’s website) “her apple of ad-lib parties and luxury, he finds himself absorbed with this arresting woman, her quirks, and her abstruse past. In this anecdotal accomplishments complete with a accumulation of aberrant citizenry of NYC, Breakfast at Tiffany’s mixes ball with a agitating ascertainment into what absolutely constitutes Love.”
THE PLAYERS, THE PLAY, AND THE PRODUCTION:
I charge admit, I never saw the movie, so I had no problems comparing the two. On the added hand, I did accommodated Truman Capote already during a summer amid academy semesters aback I collection a chicken cab in NYC. I was flagged bottomward by a attendant and abutting affair I knew there he was! He looked at my drudge authorization and said “Oh, I accept a acquaintance called Peter Hall. He directs Shakespeare. Do you apperceive him?” I had to accept that Sir Peter Hall and I didn’t biking in the aforementioned circles. I ambition I could address a animated altercation on arcane topics, but I artlessly froze up and had the distinct anticipation of not accepting into an blow with Truman Capote in my cab. So, aback to the play.
This accepted appearance is a abundant added “balanced” assembly in agreement of set, characterization, motivation, directing, and acting than we’ve apparent afresh at ART’s 545 home with their somewhat less-than-successful productions of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and OUR TOWN.
So, while alive that this comedy lasts 2-1/2 hours ability accomplish you anticipate that it will be “long,” the story, alike with all of the camp characters who appear and go into Holly’s life, holds calm and holds your interest.
And, hey, there’s alike a alive cat, in the adventure aloof called “Cat,” who is ambrosial (and I’m not a “cat person”) and is added important to compassionate the all-embracing arc of the comedy than you’d think. “We aloof array of took up by the river one day; we don’t accord to anniversary other; he’s an independent, and so am I” is how Holly introduces him, but it’s not the end of the adventure at all.
Standouts accommodate Ms. Kogut who thrives on her “leading lady” role area she is added her own woman, or at atomic Holly thinks she is, as against to bedeviled roles such as Curly’s wife in OF MICE AND MEN or May who gets slapped about by Eddie in FOOL FOR LOVE. And, she gets to abrasion a wide-variety of well-tailored apparel to boot. Of course, in a beyond sense, we could ask if “Holly” absolutely has bureau and is alive against a goal, or is she aloof active abroad from a hard-scrabble past?
And we could ask that aforementioned catechism of “Fred” the writer, although, admitting some adversity in captivation bottomward a pay-the-rent job, and admitting actuality absent from his abandoned ability by Holly’s party-girl “American Geisha” (to use Truman Capote’s description) lifestyle, ultimately does get a adventure published. The role is well-played, and actual consistently portrayed with a alloy of action and breakable care, by Ryan Kaminski.
The third acting highlight was Derrik Reynolds, who plays both the Noo Yawk adjacency bahtender “Joe Bell” and in added scenes as the wheeling-dealing Hollywood Agent “OJ Berman.” Reynolds has a abundant articulation that projects (a real, ongoing, and austere botheration for some actors in the 545 space) and a adaptable face that makes every minute he’s on date fun.
Rounding out the casting in a array of roles (only their arch role listed) is Robert Insana as “Doc Golightly,” with Heather Casseri as “Mags Wildwood,” Chris Wagner as “Rusty Trawler,” Dewel Perez as “José Ybarra-Jaegar,” and Elizabeth Oddy as “Madame Spanella.”
Two quibbles: First, there’s the advancing botheration of articulate bump for some actors in the 545 space, which is a actual large, actual advanced stage. This is circuitous aback there is added babble in the house. In the past, an aerial heating assemblage has been a problem, but, admitting the absinthian algid outside, on the night we went, that babble was not noticeable. Good. However, during the big affair scene, the affair music drowned out several actors. An accessible fix, I would think.
And, admitting her co-star Ryan Kaminsky actuality not alone a artist but a guitar and ukulele teacher, Ms. Kogut’s attack to accompany herself on the ukulele was best distracting. Suggestion: accept her bombinate a few chords to “set the stage” so to speak, and again sing a cappella (she has a admirable voice), or, bigger yet, accept her authority the uke, but sing to a pre-recorded accessory which could be created by Mr. Kaminsky. Another accessible fix, I would think.
To sum up, this is an adorable adventure by one of America’s abundant writers, well-adapted for the date and presented in a counterbalanced manner, about some amount American ethics – advancement advancement and aggressiveness – and some accepted capacity including absolution go, captivation on, friendship, and love.
Lead image: Ryan Kaminski as “Fred” and Candice Kogut as “Holly Golightly”, address ART/WNY.
UP NEXT: The 1968 agreeable PARADE ambidextrous with hot button capacity still in the account today: Racism, Anti-Semitism, Lynching, and the KKK. It runs on the 545 date from March 21st to April 13th, 2019.
Then, advancing in May, JOLEY by Caitlin Saylor Stephens, declared in the New Comedy Exchange as follows: “After a continued break two abundance lovers accumulate one hot n’ abundant black in a broke-ass bar, but aback Oprah-obsessed Joley reveals her action wounds from a decidedly agitated adventure of calm abuse, the two are challenged with the assignment of against their wrongs, apprehension their truths, award forgiveness, and burying a body.”
*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Appraisement System)
ONE BUFFALO: This agency trouble. A abominable play, a awful awry production, or both. Unless there is some absolutely acute acumen for you to appear (i.e. you are the ancestor of addition who is in it), accord this appearance a advanced berth.
TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no abundant shakes. Either the assembly is appealing far off base, or the comedy itself is problematic. Unless you are the array of being who’s blessed aloof activity to the theater, you ability attending about for article else.
THREE BUFFALOS: I still accept my issues, but this is a appealing abuse acceptable night at the theater. If you don’t go in with huge expectations, you will apparently be pleased.
FOUR BUFFALOS: Both the assembly and the comedy are of aerial caliber. If the genre/content are up your alley, I would accomplish a absolute accomplishment to attend.
FIVE BUFFALOS: Absolutely superb–a attenuate rating. Comedies that leave you anemic with laughter, dramas that absolutely blow the heart. Provided that this is the affectionate of appearance you like, you’d be a fool to absence it!
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